Six migrant boats intercepted off Kent coast

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image source, PA Media
image captionBorder Force picked up 82 migrants in six boats

Six boats carrying 82 migrants have been intercepted by Border Force vessels off the Kent coast.

The first boats were spotted at about 06:30 BST on Wednesday, the Home Office said.

Three women were among those onboard the small boats crossing the Channel from France.

Chris Philp, minister for immigration compliance and the courts, said he is determined to dismantle the criminal gangs responsible.

Those onboard the boats presented themselves as Iranian, Somalian, Syrian, Yemeni, Kuwaiti, Afghan, Egyptian, Indian, Iraqi.

There were also individuals from Togo and Niger.

The Home Office no longer discloses the numbers of child migrants arriving in Kent on small boats.

Mr Philp said: "We are bringing those responsible to justice and earlier this month two people smugglers were jailed, bringing the total jailed this year to 21."

Over the past two months "the French stopped over 1,000 migrants from making this perilous journey", he added.

At least 2,282 people have successfully crossed the Channel in 2020.

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